Reviewed: 6 of the Best Lightweight Elbow Pads for 2024

Jan 5, 2024 at 17:33
by Henry Quinney  


I'm Fed Up With Crusty Elbows

If you've gone mountain biking recently, you might have noticed riding past a litany of things you don't want to drag your skin along or smash your body into. For years I've just ridden in a t-shirt, knee pads and then changed between an open or full face helmet depending on whether I was riding something uplifted or not. Even then, more often than not unless I was on a downhill bike I wouldn't bother with a full face helmet.

I don't know whether it's from getting older but I've made a conscious effort to wear more body protection and pads in recent years. It started with getting some larger knee pads that weren't a thin slice of foam in a sleeve, and then I started trying to wear thicker gloves, downhill-rated helmets, chest-protection and long sleeves. There was one final level that I never quite got to, though - elbow pads.

My experience with elbow pads when I tried them for the first and only time was that they were massive, looked awful, ran hot and either slipped down or caused arm pump. In the decade since though, surely they must have changed?

When conducting this review, I looked for the lightest and most comfortable pads a particular brand offers. Although bruising and breakages shouldn't be dismissed, it's the constant loss of skin during bike park season that irks me. I tested these pads during the hot months and into fall to find out whether there are finally options for something discrete, comfortable, and secure.

For reference, my forearms have a circumference of 28cm at their middle, and my biceps measure 36cm.




Contents





Fox D3O Enduro Elbow


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The Fox D3O Enduro features a removable pad for easy washing, a wide silicone gripper on the upper and a slightly looser fitting forearm piece. The size medium on test had a suggested size of 27.9-30.5 cm at the bicep and 26.7-27.9 cm at the forearm, so they should have provided a snug fit. They're some of the bigger pads in the test, and are probably alongside the Leatt as the bulkiest, even if the Fox does just edge it out as the slightly bigger. However, they were also very comfortable, and offered decent moisture wicking.
Fox D3O Enduro
• D3O padding
• Silicone grippers
• Weight: 160 grams (set M)
• MSRP: $74.95
foxracing.com

While they are a nice pad, I would say that Enduro doesn't really fit their application. Although the moisture is wicked well, the pads cover a lot of real estate. They felt secure around my bicep but would fall down on long-sweaty runs in the bike park. Not only did they look the worst through a jersey thanks to their size, but I also didn't like how much they moved, and didn't appreciate the constant hoisting up required to keep them where you want them.

Overall, these are a pad of seemingly good quality and might offer more protection than some of the lighter thinner ones thanks to their D3O padding. I would, however, definitely try before you buy and consider sizing down.

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Pros
+ Great coverage
+ Flexible pad and stretchy material made removal very easy


Cons
- Larger pad can be warm
- The least secure pad in terms of fit




G-Form Pro X3 Elbow


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G-Form makes pads as light as they are distinctive. The exoskeleton look is a little strange, and all the labels of NFL this or that, aren't going to help. Let us be honest, no elbow pads look particularly good but I think the G-Forms fly even closer to the sun than most. On the flipside, these Pro X3 pads can be nearly hidden under a long-sleeved jersey.
G-Form Pro-X3 Elbow
• Smartflex pad hardens on impact
• Silicone grippers
• Weight: 120 grams
• MSRP: $59.99
g-form.com

Their pads are typically light, with an emphasis on flexibility and comfort. While this might not be what I want for my knee protection, for elbow pads it all begins to add up. The light, shape-hugging fit means that not only was this the most flexible pad on test but also the best fitting. The medium pads have a suggested size of 32-34.5 cm and 21.5-24cm at the bicep and forearm respectively and fit me very well.

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The longer grippers help with comfort around the bicep and stop the pads from feeling like they're cutting into my arms. The way the sleeve holds your arm also means that it doesn't need to be particularly tight in any one place; instead, there's a reasonable tension all over. The forearm uses a dotted-silcone surface to provide grip without being restrictive. The pads were secure, comfortable, and breathe well.

The pad grippers are very effective, meaning they can rotate the pad over time if they're out of joint, but they were also probably the best at hugging the shape of your arm on the test while also being easy to get on and off.
Pros
+ Very comfortable
+ Secure and stayed in place
+ Light and breathable
+ Very discreet

Cons
- Looks are divisive, should you care




ION E-Sleeve AMP Elbow


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The Ion pads use inserts to make washing easy, and a mesh material throughout. The size chart suggests 28-30cm and 21-23cm at the bicep and forearm respectively. I tested the medium size and although they were comfortable they left some things to be desired.

ION E-Sleeve AMP Elbow
• 3-directional pad
• Weight: 182 grams
• No sew abrasion
• MSRP: $85USD
ion-products.com

These are good pads, and the way they fit is pretty good. They did shuffle around a little but largely stayed in place. ION's problem is not getting the pad to stay on though, largely it's getting it off again. The material of the sleeve is just too inflexible. You find yourself rolling, and sliding it as you try and get a purchase. Throw in some of the creak-tick of threads snapping and it becomes a frustrating experience. Every time I removed them I thought I would tear them. I was above the size chart recommendation, which shouldn't be ignored, but I also wouldn't have wanted these pads looser while riding.

They were comfortable, and far more comfortable than you might think from the somewhat stern material, but I think there are better options. While not quite bulky, they're certainly on the verge of it. They do hide under a jersey well and offer good coverage.

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Pros
+ Stay put
+ Comfortable
+ Good coverage

Cons
- Very hard to get off




POC VPD Air Flow Elbow


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The POC VPD M had a size suggesting a bicep of 28-32cm and a forearm of 26-30cm. While these pads felt like a high-quality item with some nice features, getting them to stay up was an issue. They were probably the least secure on test. That's also despite the way the pad cups your elbow, which is both comfortable and supportive. I don't think that the sleeve is too big so much as the grippers seemed somewhat ineffective. Around the bicep, it just didn't feel as if the silicone grippers got any real purchase.

POC VPD Air Flow Elbow
• Certified to EN1621-1, Level 1
• Concave pad w/ silicone bicep grippers
• Weight: 215 grams
• MSRP: $130 USD
pocsports.com
The pads might offer slightly more protection than some and are one of the few to have certification reported in their copy, and you would hope so too for nearly double the weight of something like the G-Form. The pads are very very comfortable, and assuming they stayed up would be the ones I'd happily crash in, but getting them to do so was just too difficult. They're not the most discrete either thanks to the pad extending beyond the elbow quite a bit. That said, they're on par with the Fox pads.

I think that the POC is a nice pad, but if it's going to be bigger and heavier I want it at least to stay up consistently. Thanks to the lack of gripper on the forearm the whole sleeve fits quite tight, and I definitely wouldn't want it any tighter. That said, it makes it a real shame that they wouldn't stay in place on long runs.

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Pros
+ Very comfortable
+ Certified


Cons
- Would fall down
- Heavier than others




Leatt ReaFlex Elbow


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The ReaFlex guards only give a sizing suggestion around the bicep, and it's quite wide too at 24-28cm. The pads feature the same style of padding as the G-Form, however, it's more of a hybrid between the more classic style where the is one large pad compared to the G-Form which seems to be a lots of pads connected together via gel-sections. The pad itself is very concave and hugs the elbow. There is a cutout in the forearm to help both air and blood flow and overall they're a thin material, even if they feel less premium than some other pads due to the absence of a soft-stretchy sleeve.

Leatt ReaFlex Elbow
• EN1621-1 certified
• Upper gripper
• Weight: 180 grams
• MSRP: $89
leatt.com

The pads are very good though, and they stayed up, in place and comfortable over long runs. I like the concave pads as they feel like they're going to stay in place better and rotate less on impact. That's helped further by a textured gripper where your elbow will sit. When riding, they felt like around the joint they fit a bit looser and subsequently ran cooler. All in all, they're a good pad but sadly suffer from the same bad looks as the G-Form, but unlike the G-Form they do without the ability to hide under a jersey seamlessly, should you care.

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Pros
+ Comfortable and cool running
+ Certified
+ Stayed put


Cons
- Slightly bulky
- Lower opening is large and could be tapered more




Troy Lee Designs Speed Elbow


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The Troy Lee pads have a wafer-thin 4mm pad, and looking at them they were very much in line with what I was looking for. Minimalist and discreet, yet with enough coverage to stop the loss of skin. The pads feature a gripper around the bicep and rely on a good deal of stretch to hold the pad securely. The medium pads suggest a lower forearm of 6.5-8 (16.5 - 20 cm) inches and a bicep of 10-12 (25.5 - 30.5 cm). They also give weight recommendations of 63-82 kg. I didn't factor the weight factor in too much, as surely there is just so much more information needed but I suppose it might help somebody.
TLD Speed Elbow Guards
• D3O pads
• CE EN 13688:2013 Certified
• Weight: 136 grams
• MSRP: $49USD
troyleedesigns.com

The pads are the most discreet on test, and also look subtle in short sleeves - they don't look overly different from a base layer. Sadly, I just couldn't get them to stay up. I ended up riding an XS/S pad and, while my arms are by no means big I was disappointed that even that success was hit-and-miss. It wasn't drastic, but over several runs, they would move down. They felt good in terms of fit, but just wouldn't stay where I wanted them.

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Pros
+ Very thin
+ Discreet
+ Probably the best looking pad


Cons
- Fell down occasionally
- Sizing is off





Top Pick

My goal in this test was to find something so comfortable and minimalist that I didn't see any reason not to wear them. With that in mind, the G-Form Pro X3 Elbow is the clear winner. Comfortable, secure, and breathable all while being the most discreet. When working at the World Cups, I'd often see riders wearing these hidden away under their sleeves, despite what the sponsor read on the outside of their jersey, and that's not without good reason. I really liked the pads, and they're the only ones I feel really deliver in every regard.

If this test has shown me one thing is that elbow pads still aren't quite there in terms of fit, and just getting them to stay up was more often than not a difficulty. In fairness, it was on long hot, and sweaty runs of the bikepark. However, that's not to say I wouldn't expect more when spending what can often be a decent chunk of change on protective equipment.




Author Info:
henryquinney avatar

Member since Jun 3, 2014
325 articles

188 Comments
  • 76 0
 Pro tip: Use your old knee pads from when you were young and skinny.
  • 32 0
 Are you saying my ass looks fat in these pants?
  • 34 1
 @AppleJack76: Yeah, but the juicy kind of fat.
  • 9 0
 @chillrider199: That's fat shaming I can get use to.
  • 1 0
 @AppleJack76: It's not the pants...
  • 1 0
 I bought my son some knee pads for Christmas that were too small but yes, perfect fit on my arms. New surprise elbow pads Smile
  • 1 0
 @AppleJack76:

Yeah, but atleast it takes the focus off your face
  • 1 0
 @enis: You and me both... a face only a mother could love.
  • 2 0
 @AppleJack76:
I have a great face for radio
  • 41 5
 Nothing from Koho, Bauer, CCM, or Easton? I though PB was Canadian.
  • 4 0
 When I first started riding I had a youth set of Easton hockey shoulder pads. They were definitely bulky, but those fully articulated shoulder cups had me feeling nice and protected.
  • 24 1
 can confirm the gform elbow pads are a winner. i've had the same pair now for over a decade and the silicone is still there, no rips in the stitching, and i always forget i am even wearing them. they have saved me countless times
  • 3 0
 I run the pro rugged which are pretty much the same but a little less shiny and they are great too. Fits great under a top. Now run their knee pads too. They make great gear
  • 2 0
 The older version of the Leatt are great too.
  • 1 0
 I used to wear them but they'd move as I was sliding and leave the forearm raw and bleeding. Messy and takes a while to heal. I've been wearing a Fox hard-shell for years now, ugly as hell but does a great job of preventing damage.
  • 1 0
 I've also ate serious shit wearing gforms and am always surprised at just how protective they are vs how flexible and comfortable they are.
  • 18 0
 Between my elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards I look like a bionic goober. Holy shit though, I (my body) can roll over a rock garden now and pop up like nothing happened.
  • 2 1
 Wrist guards?
  • 7 0
 @SacAssassin: I use a mobius wrist guard. I got shit wrists and have fractured them multiple times. I’m done doing that ha.
  • 2 0
 @Takaya94: Holy sheet those are sweet. Had no idea a decent wrist brace existed. Thanks for the heads up.
  • 1 0
 @SacAssassin: yeah man! They're super comfortable and never get in the way of my riding. I use them for skiing too.
  • 1 0
 @Takaya94: Multiple surgeries have lead me to having to wear the Mobius. Been a few years now, you really don't even know they're on.
  • 21 0
 My wife has the same con as the Ion elbow pads.
  • 6 0
 If the pros are akin to those of the Troy Lee pads…
  • 3 0
 Underrated comment!
  • 2 0
 Had to go back to look at the comment. Was not expecting that! haha
  • 5 0
 My wife is more of a Leatt pad
  • 22 4
 Surely the winner is the one that matches your knee pads? #cantmixbrands
  • 15 1
 I like to wear a Troy Lee on my left arm and a generic DIY store decorators knee pad on my right.
  • 3 0
 Yes! I wish Chromag would make some elbow pads to match my kneepads.
  • 6 0
 I’m upgrading them one at a time like the rims on my Corolla
  • 14 0
 Keeping the scrapes to a minimum is a plus, for sure, but the real reason I wear pads now is that after two broken elbows, the pads are just a little extra insurance to help keep me on my bike, vs. hiking with a sling and a cast. The impact absorbing qualities are not a guaranty you won't break an elbow, but if it reduces that chance by even 10% — I think it's probably substantially more than that — it's worth it. My local trails are rocky and harsh, so I don't even think about riding with out knee pads. I've never broken a knee cap, and want to keep it that way.
  • 6 0
 I broke a knee cap - on a climb, in a very slow awkward spot, just happened to land knee first on a sharp rock. Basically the MTB equivalent of stumbling and breaking your ankle while standing in line at a ski lift. Rehab from a broken patella is slow and painful, and the fracture is a natural place for cartilage to fail (i.e., arthritis to set on). Since then, I climb with my knee pads on, no matter how hot it is, no matter how mellow the trail. I'm thinking maybe you're on to something with the elbow pads.
  • 4 0
 @g-42: I forget where I read it so don't quote me on it but I remember reading a Dr. say that it's much more common to have long term complications with elbow vs knee injury to the point that one might consider using elbow over knee pads if you had to pick one.
  • 2 0
 Seems to me that a hard shell would be way more effective than any soft shell.
  • 1 0
 @g-42: I've been in hospital so many times for stitches, including one needing an ortho surgeon to repair, from some of the most innocuous riding. I now have a blanket policy of knee/shin guards all the time on every ride, no matter how mellow. Maybe I should extend the policy to elbows too.
  • 1 0
 @ljblk: 14 stitches in my shin from riding with my 3yo son...WTF!?
  • 8 0
 @Tambo: Goes to show - parenting is an extreme sport...
  • 15 3
 In my experience elbow pads only work really well when they're built into the sleeve of some kind of body armour jacket. I've never been happy with stand alone pads but various Dainese and POC vests have elbow pads which always stay perfectly in place and don't slither downward.
  • 4 0
 Unless you have non-average (proportional) arm length so none of full-body armor makes a good fit on the elbows.

I’m curious to try these pads that Henry recommends. If they fit as described, the next thing I need is scissors and some time to cut my armor’s sleeves properly below the shoulders.
  • 2 0
 I have some leatt elbow pads (bulkier than the ones in the article) and they stay in place perfectly at the park. I’m a pretty skinny guy too.
  • 1 0
 @nvranka: Are you using the Leatt 3DF 6.0 elbow guards? They’re CE level 2, with a hard shell, and stay up comfortably.
  • 3 0
 Agree. All elbow pad that fit my forearm are too big in the bicep
  • 1 0
 I have a vest / armour jacket with integrated elbow pads. They stay in place while riding but I'm not too happy with them in event of a crash. In a crash the sleeve just slides up and leaves you with abrasions anyway. I conisider cutting off the sleeves of the vest and use elbow pads with straps instead.
  • 2 0
 @TurboDonuts: ya I think that’s what I have. They do have a hard shell
  • 1 0
 I have a hard shell pair from Fox that work well. Adjustable straps above and below the elbow. Saved my elbows and forearms countless times and stay in place through most crashes/slides.
  • 1 0
 @WishIWazFaster: yeah my buddy has the hard shell fox ones too and he doesn’t mind them at the park. It’s a weird feeling to wear elbows if you never have before, but once you get used to them you don’t notice them.

I can’t bring myself to wear elbows outside of the park / dh though. Probably will get f*cked by that eventually.
  • 13 0
 I would add the IXS flow light elbow guards to this list. They are light, comfortable and fit well under long sleeves.
  • 5 0
 IXS are a winner here, while not super heavy duty they are light weight, have a strap, fit under a shirt, and do the job.
  • 1 0
 @Gdg1: I’ve found some ixs pads to be excessively tight and I’m a fairly skinny dude. I used to like some of their knee pads and tried elbows and hated them.
  • 8 0
 I've run the g-form elbow pads for over 5 years after several severe gashes in both my forearms - a total of 36 stitches and 1 plastic surgery left me a lot of fragile forearm skin. I wear them on 99% of my rides and they have saved me so. damn. much. They're low profile, I forget I'm wearing them half the time now (people can't even tell I'm wearing them and are surprised if they feel my elbows) and never fall down. I don't think any elbow pad is staying put if you have a big enough spill, but having a light layer that doesn't impact your movement but does take the brunt of the impact makes a big difference. Also, super nice on those silly wash-outs which would otherwise leave your elbows scraped up. It's nice not to constantly have your elbows torn up from little slides.
  • 8 0
 I've heard an opinion that one of the hardest and longest healing traumas in MTB are elbow traumas. So yeah - wear your pads kids... maybe helmets too
  • 3 0
 @valrock yeah, many PTs & Orthos wish we would wear elbow pads more often. Would save a lot of rehab time. Certainly adding to their job security when we don't though...
  • 2 0
 I broke and dislocated my right elbow 20 years ago,never regained total arm extension even after long and painfull phisiotherapy.
  • 4 0
 Some years ago PB interviewed a doctor about injuries etc. His final words were that MTBers should wear elbow pads more often, noting he sees many wearing knee pads but no elbow pads. I'd say there are a lot of occupations where limited elbow range is a career-killer or at least a career-curtailer.
  • 5 0
 @iamamodel: It's always blown me away how everyone wears knees but never elbows.

When I was first learning how to ride I had a couple stacks and it's always the same: hands, knees, elbows hitting the deck. Banged my elbow enough that it hurt for a few weeks and that was it, I always wear knees and elbows no matter what. Even in XC (I do some marathon races) I have a lightweight set that I wear. Makes me stick out but it sure is funny to ride past people banged up after stacks.

My theory always was:
When you're new, you're gonna crash a lot and crash awkwardly, so wear pads.

When you're intermediate, you're not gonna crash as much, but you'll crash when you get over confident and get in over your head. So wear pads

When you're experienced, you'll very rarely crash. But when you do it will be high speed/big air/big rock and therefore high consequence. So wear pads.
  • 5 0
 No external straps = Nope. Without a strap, elbow pads (for me) end up being wrist pads over rough terrain. iXS pads work great for me. Light, straps, reasonably comfy and durable.
  • 2 0
 Try Race Face Indy's. I've tried a bunch of other ones and these are one of the few non-strap ones that stay up all the time.
  • 2 0
 @RBalicious: Right, I forgot! I have never adjusted the straps after the first time, including after washes. They're fantastic pads.
  • 2 0
 @rrolly: I also use Raceface indy's... they do have a strap, but they fit so well without being constricting that I also never tighten the strap.
  • 7 4
 From my experience, the only elbow pads worth wearing are ones which will stay put in an event of crash. And I can assure you, it's not enough that a pad will look like it would stay put. There are different kinds of crashes. I used 7idp transtion elbow pads for 2 years with numerous smaller crashes until they slipped leaving my arm with 5mm deep cuts.
The only pad which will stay put is one with non-elastic (or almost non-elastic) forearm band.
So sorry, but the "winning" gform pad will not hold well in a real crash.
  • 2 0
 I also use the 7dip transitions. Ive got a box full of ones that didnt fit right. The 7dips have treated me well through multiple high and low speed crashes on both rocky natrual trails and hard packed dirt washing out in corners or going down in a landing. have worn them on 30 mile pedal days over varying terrain and they have stayed in place and I forget they are there. Ive got a hardshell six six one type thing with straps at top and bottom for lift days or rides divided into one big up and down but even on a 3 to 6 minute downhill run ill get intense arm pump that the 7dips dont give me. You found something thats working for you? I try to wear as much protection as I can safely tolerate in the heat. Dont give a f*ck what I look like anymore.
  • 2 0
 @WholeMilkHydrationPac: I bought Poc vpd air since they have a non-elastc band. They are less comfortable but I got used to them. But fortunately did not crash hard in them yet.
  • 2 0
 @lkubica: ah ill give em a shot. Ive torn big holes in the mesh of the 7dip elbow and knee pads both.. my only real complaint about the 7 dips.. The non pad mesh on the inside of the elbow and back of the knee is very brethable and comfortable but tears easy on a flat pedal or just being a little to enthusiastic taking the elbow pad off.
  • 1 0
 @WholeMilkHydrationPac: I use 7idp Sam Hills and they are great apart easy tearing, but they have never failed me, comfortable, long, protective.
  • 2 0
 The 7idp elbows failed spectacularly for my wife this last year at Whistler. And the knee pads as well. Slipped out of place, AND tore right through causing fairly significant injuries from a minor tumble.
  • 3 0
 Personally I use the Fox D30 and have crash tested them with excellent results! Most of the TV/film stunties I know use them too or the Gform for under costume protection. They’ve definitely crash tested them more than I have ha ha
  • 7 0
 raceface indy is the real answer
  • 3 0
 this! Just got my 3rd pair. Enough protection for enduro and park, relatively light and breathable and, most importantly, don't slip. A bit of arm pump, yes, but worth it.
  • 2 0
 Ya, I've had a few different ones and ended up picking up a pair of RF's after reading a review. They have been fantastic. No movement, good protection, easy to clean, comfortable. Absolute winners.
  • 3 0
 These are so hard to review because what stays up on Henry’s arms aren’t necessarily going to work on yours. I have a set of POC VPD Air, and for me, they seem to work better than most. But I dozed down — rather than going with large, as I do with every other piece of clothing I own, I went with a medium. There’s still a bit of slippage on some longer, bumpier rides, though.
  • 1 0
 I seem to have to size up on kneepads and down on elbow pads.
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: makes you sound like a roadie
  • 1 0
 I was the same, mediums felt fine in the shop. Then first trip away turned into quite expensive wrist guards. So went back and bought the smalls which honestly feel like I'll split them every time I pull them on. But they stay up. I've been down on them once. Sadly I snapped my femur at the same time so didn't notice my perfect elbows.
  • 3 0
 Dakine Slayer elbow pads should be in the mix. Best looking, very good protection during various enduro/dh riding. I ride with them with longsleeve jersey and my arms are thankful for it.

I really doubt Gform really protect well in case of sharp impact or rocks. Look flimsy and some part don't even have any protection. Might explain why they felt so ''light that i could wear them all day''- big no for me. My opinion
  • 1 0
 @AppleJack76: +1 for Dakine Slayers. Best elbow pads I've had, stay put, firm flexible hard shell, run snug and true to size, no flashy colors. I wear them on nearly every ride and in the summer while they're warmer than no pads, that's an acceptable trade for reduced likelihood of scrapes, scars, and lost skin
  • 2 0
 Personally I like the other POC ones (for bike park at least) as they have a strap to adjust and they are super small na.pocsports.com/collections/mountain-biking-protection-elbow-protection/products/joint-vpd-system-elbow?variant=35593026207910
  • 1 0
 Yes small indeed. Protected my elbow fine, ripped the strap off. Not so much for the forearm abrasion. Wish I had my Fox Enduros on in that crash
  • 3 0
 I was so excited to find a NOS pair of ROACH elbow pads 5 years ago. If they last the 22 years my last set did (which are pretty much trash) I may never need to buy another pair.
  • 2 0
 I still have the set I bought nearly 3 decades ago.
  • 2 0
 My partner is a massage therapist. She has to wear elbow pads to keep her tools dialed in if she goes down. I can confirm every elbow pad for MTB is total shit. Only way any of them work for her is if she wears are warmers over them to keep them in place. Sucks when its super hot out. Brands really need to do better.
  • 2 0
 Try raceface hardshell, elbow and forearm protection, elastic sleeve and two Velcro straps : no movement even in a sliding crash.
  • 4 0
 ROACH arm pads.
  • 1 0
 @woofer2609: I still have a set of Roach pads I bought in the mid nineties. Saved my elbows and forearms during a few spills, and other than some fraying near the pull straps, are still in reasonably good shape. My teenage son now wears them, although I just bought a set of those G-forms for him to try out.
  • 2 0
 Race Face Indy's. No warmer needed.
  • 2 0
 An ER doctor in Squamish once told me that from what they've seen, if you're going to wear any pad, arm pads are the ones to prioritize. I like the Dakine Slayer Elbow Sleeve. Lightweight and enough protection to avoid shredding elbows.
  • 5 0
 Is that because they hit the ground or because people present with elbow injuries because knee pads have done their job
  • 3 0
 Thanks for the review! I wear elbow pads when I'm riding more tech trails because I've had friends who have broken their elbows riding and haven't been the same since.
  • 1 0
 Gforms are THE choice for most mountain biking. Though if you are really pushing it in a bike park and downhill and what not I would probably look into the Leatts or G-forms heavier E Line options to add protection. But the Gforms are everything I want in a biking pad. Lightweight, breathable, slim, but still protective. Almost feels like magic.
  • 1 0
 I switched to ION kit last year and I can honestly say they are the only pads that don't slip. I wore them for regular trail riding, tackling the Palisade Plunge, multiple park days and two days of enduro racing. I actually wear these pads which is a big deal for me.
  • 1 0
 I'll plug Pearl Izumi's elbow pads, too - they stay put real nice. Started with the older Summits, which are very similar to the TLD Speeds, and after a few years switched to the updated (/now current) Elevate elbows for better washability (removable D30) and more comfort from the sleeve. Over time, both models kept good elasticity in the sleeve and haven't loosened, which was not my experience with the G-Form Pro-X3, but maybe that was a sizing problem. Unsure what's going on with availability, though - for some reason PI dropped them from the CAN site but going by the US site, they look like they're still in production. I use them for regular-ass trail riding with a lot of climbing & sweating because I hate scabby elbows and, unfortunately, eat it pretty regularly. Good protection from both from a regular-ass trails POV, with the Elevate being more gooder.
  • 1 0
 7 protection transition elbow pads have been the best for me.
The silicon grippers don’t slip, and the “cup” stays in place and feels substantial. I feel like I spent so many years where elbow pads slipped that once I found some that stayed in place it would be hard for me to switch. Same thing with the same hill kneepads. I’d be hard-pressed to try something else because I just put them on and leave them on for every single ride and have no problems. I think Bike recommended them some years ago so I guess I could try something out too.
  • 1 0
 All well and good to be on trend and"cool" and ride without elbow pads until you wad on a very basic trail and find yourself in ICU step-down for a week.
For me my elbows are always the first thing to hit the dirt and after that experience I pretty much use them all the time.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney good review, comfortable light knee pads are harder to find.

However as it’s a clothing item, fit being most of the design importance, it would of been good if another reviewer tried them all and confirmed what’s most comfortable for them (like bike group tests)
  • 1 0
 Best set i had was an old 661 with forearm protection that was about 18 years old and it was bomb proof. Soft padding and hard plastic that was great on rocks and it never moved. It also would move in the joint so it was comfortable to wear. They do not make them anymore but it is still going strong. Unfortunately i feel the D30 or new soft foam gives a false sense of security on rocky trails.
  • 1 0
 Been happy with the 100% Teratec Plus. Stays in place. Doesn't bother me. Has a good coverage and enough protection. That would be it. Of course, the "bothering" is relative. I want to get them out after riding, it's not like knee pads that I don't mind keeping. Probably because the arms are more sensible to heat, or because there is a jersey on top of them.
  • 2 0
 I use the Alpinestars Paragon Lite elbow pads. They are extremely light but protect against possible abrasions. They stay properly in place and are low priced
  • 10 6
 Maybe they would stay up if you had a small amount of bicep muscle?
  • 6 0
 I dont think bigger biceps help because most pads end right at the peak of the biceps, not above it.
  • 3 0
 Or superglue.
  • 2 0
 He needs to work on getting his 24 inch pythons....
  • 2 1
 @Blablablup123: correct, it’s the tricep that matters. The seam needs to fit between the crease between the tricep and deltoid so that it has purchase to prevent the pad from sliding. The smaller the tri’s the smaller the pad needs to be.
  • 1 0
 @bigtim: Staples are what I recommend.
  • 8 0
 @wobblegoblin undoubtedly
  • 4 0
 We ride bikes. WTF is a bicep?

In all seriousness, I’ve felt that arm pads sizing is for folks with a lot more upper body mass than me. I lift for functional strength, not size nor appearance. I do own dumbbells and did some curls today. But I have a hard time filling up even small size arm pads.
  • 1 0
 The small amount is the issue,
  • 1 0
 @Blablablup123: same reason dangerholm don't wear kneepads. Probably.
  • 1 0
 @MonsterTruck:
Then can anyone tell me why my shorts are always sliding down?
  • 1 0
 @Untgrad: have you ever looked in the mirror and thought “is that Hank Hill’s ass?”
  • 2 0
 @Untgrad: need to work on the Gluteus Maximus more?
  • 1 0
 @tiffe:
I’ve been diagnosed with an acute case of Noassatall. Maybe that’s the one..
  • 4 0
 7idp Sam hills are worth a shout
  • 3 0
 Pro tip: all you are reading about is how these pads fit on Henry Quinney's arm. You need to try the pads yourself!
  • 5 2
 Perhaps the first and only time anything TLD will be called the "best looking."
  • 3 0
 Looks only someone from SoCal could love.
  • 1 0
 Yep, on tougher trails. Having scrapes and scabs is just annoying in a professional setting and at home playing around with my young children. If I can reduce them at least a bit, I'm all for it.
  • 1 0
 I just wish a brand would make a light longsleeve jersey (not an undershirt) with a bit of extra material from the forearm to the elbow. As Henry said, 99.9% of the time you just want to reduce friction burns.
  • 1 0
 I just wish a brand would make a light longsleeve jersey (not an undershirt) with a bit of extra material from the forearm to the elbow. As Henry said, 99.9% of the time you just want to reduce friction burns.
  • 1 0
 I have an O'Neil jersey with that.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: nice, do you remember the name of the jersey? Couldn't find/identify it on their site
  • 1 0
 @Mugen: it was a gift a few years back. Its the only O'Neil jersey I own, so I just assumed it was a standard design. From what's left of the tags it says "Element Series".
  • 1 0
 For myself, it is typically the same problem over and over with products. Buy the largest size available and hope it is big enough. Gloves are one of the worst, finger length too short so the seams pull apart.
  • 2 0
 Wear the G-Form for a season or more, and they are no longer secure. The bands stretch out and on a long decent, the next thing I know they are down at my wrists
  • 1 0
 Nothing makes me feel like a “big guy” like buying mountain bike protection/apparel.

I’m 6’2 205lbs and people call me “skinny”… but my XL TLD elbow pads barely stretch over my arms.

Subtle brag?
  • 2 0
 Same experience with the tlds. I could barely get it up my forearm, yet it would still slip down.
  • 1 0
 I have the Fox ones, they were good to start off with, but after about a week's worth of riding they started slipping down...
  • 4 1
 [insert McGazza quote here]
  • 1 0
 Came looking for McGazza's take on elbow pads.
  • 2 0
 I'd give the 7IDP Sam Hill Lite a look to. Had them since 2021 and they're a good piece of kit.
  • 1 0
 tough to really see as all of them fit well the first 6 months...it's at the elastic/velcro/snap spot where the wear and tear takes hold.
  • 2 0
 The con of the fox pads “ The lease secure pad in terms of fit” they help me score a good lease on a sick pad? Sweet.
  • 3 0
 I wonder how my circa 1999 Roach pads stack up?! lol
  • 2 0
 If they made those today, but with D30 padding instead, I’d buy them in a heartbeat. I love my Roach armour.
  • 1 0
 I Miss fox wristrap gloves. A non impact item that worked all the time, riding mostly for the non wannabe looper or crashing for the prognarcore-ha’s
  • 1 0
 Loam-trooper. Not looper. Sorry mkay?
  • 2 0
 Absolutely love this type of shoot-out review. Thanks!
  • 1 0
 Does anybody know of elbow pads that go all the way up to the arm pit? Not the padding, just the fabric.
  • 1 0
 You could get a padded shirt
  • 1 0
 The troy Lee are pretty long and get right to the top of my arm.
  • 1 0
 Glad to hear that Fox secured the lease. I'd call that a pro not a con in this era of bankrupt bike brands.
  • 1 0
 Would love to see chest/neck protection reviews in this format if it can be done at some point.
  • 1 0
 Order a bunch from backcountry or a similar style of retailer and try them on then return what doesn't fit. Unless you are his twin there isn't much value from how protective gear fits him.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: See you're thinking too much. I don't want to do that.
  • 1 0
 @noodlewitnosteeze: then just guess, or pick what looks the coolest to you.
  • 2 1
 The way Henry is holding these pads in the photos, you can kind of smell the funk.
  • 1 0
 Elbow pads? I prefer to let my wenis flap in the breeze as nature intended.
  • 2 0
 Get some good old Roach brand elbow pads if your riding the bike parks.
  • 2 0
 But, but if you wear elbow pads, you aren't "enduro bro" enough. Lol.
  • 2 0
 7IDP Sam Hills are really good and light
  • 2 0
 any suggestions for elbow pads that fit large muscley arms?
  • 1 0
 Elbow pads are great..
Where’s the video of Henry’s latest dance moves..?
  • 1 0
 Does the packaging on the G-Forms still state that they are for "indoor sport use only"? I always got a laugh out of that...
  • 1 0
 You missed Scott Soldier pads - they are fantastic
  • 1 0
 Soulja Boy
  • 1 0
 Weight correct on the ION's? 631?
  • 2 0
 Absolutely not. Sorry, that was an error from using a template and I've amended that now after weighing them again. Thanks for the heads up.
  • 1 1
 I think the issue Quinney has is the little noodle arms, not enough bicep to hold up the pad
  • 2 0
 I have the same problem, made worse by my years climbing which mean my remaining forearm muscles pull almost all pads down
  • 1 0
 Alpine stars for £17.. not even on sale....
  • 1 0
 I mean knee pads are harder to find than elbow
  • 1 0
 why no Dainese products in this test? And RaceFace?
  • 1 0
 $1 for every time Henry mentions his time on the circuit
  • 1 0
 I own both Ion and Poc protectors an I agree to the test verdict.
  • 3 3
 Volleyball elbow pads…. 10bucks
  • 11 0
 They go great with your $2 safety glasses.
  • 3 1
 @everythingsucks: Got some safety glasses with the kids Nerf gun. Work great for low light. Can’t imagine paying actual money for clear riding glasses.
  • 2 0
 Those wont pass any testing norm for outdoor sports.
  • 2 0
 I've never seen anyone play volleyball with elbow pads
  • 1 0
 Can get mtb name brand elbow pads for 30.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: That's because @Ebab stole them.
  • 1 0
 Adulting
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